Between Habermas and Lyotard: Rethinking the Contrast between Modernity and Postmodernity

Peter J. Verovšek, Javier Burdman*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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The article shows that Habermas’s modernism and Lyotard’s postmodernism are not as antithetical as they are often taken to be. First, we argue that Habermas is not a strong foundationalist concerned with identifying universal rules for language, as postmodern critiques have often interpreted him. Instead, he develops a social pragmatics in which the communicative use of language is the fundamental presupposition of any meaningful interaction. Second, we argue that Lyotard is not a relativist who denies any universal linguistic structure. Instead, he claims that language involves a universal element of dissensus that cannot be subordinated to consensus. Third, we show that neither does Habermas defend a new version of the kind of philosophy of history characteristic of the Enlightenment, nor is Lyotard a historical relativist, but instead they both seek alternatives to these positions. The conclusion calls for more nuance in the interpretation of both perspectives.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)71-88
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftTheory, Culture and Society
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum23-sep.-2023
StatusPublished - mei-2024

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